Title: Love Wanted
Author: John Inman
Publisher: Dreamspinner Press
Length: 270 Pages
Category: Contemporary, Paranormal
At a Glance: Love Wanted is a superbly written story and left me happy and smiling, wishing for more. Always a good sign of a book worth reading.
Reviewed By: Taz
Blurb: When it rains, it pours. Not only has Larry Walls been evicted from his apartment, but his hours have also been cut at the department store where he works, leaving him facing homelessness.
Meanwhile, Bo Lansing, a total stranger to Larry, toils at a dead-end job as a fry cook while attending night classes to become a certified chef. When the school closes its doors without warning, leaving Bo in the lurch for thousands of dollars in tuition, his dream of becoming a chef is shattered and his financial troubles spiral.
Desperate for a new beginning, each man answers an ad for live-in help posted by a wealthy recluse, and wonder of wonders, they are both hired! Just as their lives begin to improve, a young Kumeyaay Indian named Jimmy Blackstone joins the workforce at the Stanhope mansion.
When Mr. Stanhope’s true reason for hiring the young men is discovered by one of the three, a fourth entity makes its presence known.
With all these players vying for position in a game of intrigue orchestrated by one lonely old man and a mischievous ghost, can a simple thing like love ever hope to survive the fray?
Review: Love Wanted was a journey of life and love. Roger Stanhope, ninety-three and having lost his lover of seventy years, is a wealthy man. Yet, for all his property, belongings, and money, what he truly values is love. So, he devises a plot to create the circumstances for love to blossom the way it had for him and his lover—all of this, so he could bequeath his vast inheritance to an unknowing couple so they could experience a lifetime of happiness as well. Hence he placed an ad:
“EASY MONEY. Wanted! Two gentlemen needed. Live-in. One to cook. One to run the house. Must be single and unattached. Need no references other than a ready smile and a gay, romantic heart. Kindness a must. Need for new beginnings a plus. Hunger for life an absolute necessity. Interviews one week from today at the address below.”
And with that, in the first part of the first chapter, we are launched into the story.
At first, we meet Larry and Bo. As with most love stories, one character is more outgoing and the other somewhat reserved. The author does a lovely job of building the tension between the two until finally, a spark ignites leading them to a night of passion.
What Mr. Inman did, diverging from the typical formula of romance writing, was to introduce a third character. At the same time, he inserted a plot twist that threw the story in an entirely different direction. I can recall my exact reaction at the moment the author did this. First Bo does something that gives me pause. I’m thinking, “Wait a minute, that’s not right.” And then we meet Jimmy.
The juxtaposition of the two love interests for Larry served as a beautiful backdrop for the author to explore the concept of love, commitment, honesty, integrity, and being genuine in one’s life. The stark differences between Bo and Jimmy highlight the difference between a person of merit and a person driven by selfishness and greed. The way the story unfolded, I found that I too reflected on my ideas of love and life.
Roger Stanhope embodied a man who’d found his true mate. Even though Jeremy was gone, he’s still very much a presence in the story. I won’t say too much about that, but suffice it to say that the book contains a bit of a supernatural element to it. The cast is rounded out by the affable and motherly Mrs. Price, who’d been Roger and Jeremy’s cook for over thirty years.
The only complaint I have about the book is that there was an awful lot of head-hopping or shifts in point-of-view. Within one scene we would see things from two or three different characters minds, and this made it confusing to follow at times. While it is not unusual for an author to shift from one person’s perspective to another’s within the same chapter, there is usually a line break or some other kind of indication that a shift has occurred, signaling to the reader that we are now in someone else’s head. However, this was not the case in Love Wanted.
That, however, is my only complaint about the book.
As a romance, it is a superbly written story and left me happy and smiling, wishing for more. Always a good sign of a book worth reading.
You can buy Love Wanted here: